from the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors
Recent studies investigating Canadians’ exposure to BPA suggest the levels detected are “well below” current Health Canada recommendations when it comes to an acceptable daily intake. However, the studies being conducted are concerning to naturopathic doctors (NDs). NDs warn the factors within the study are looked on in isolation and the studies themselves do not reflect a person’s weekly consumption of all products containing BPA.
“The research being done is looking at each risk factor in isolation. People may consume just one can of pop per week, but what the study is not telling us is what happens when a person consumes a number of cans of pop and energy drinks, uses plastic bottles and consumes canned vegetables within a short period of time. There is no research looking at the cumulative effects from all sources of exposure. Looking at one item on its own does not reflect real life…” Iva Lloyd, ND
What is BPA and where is it found?
BPA is a chemical used in the manufacturing of many everyday products including pop cans, water bottles, energy drink cans, baby bottles, canned foods (including those for acidic fruits and vegetables) and sealants in dental fillings. BPA is also found in rigid, transparent or coloured plastic products identified by a triangle with the number 7 in the center. (Please note: not all products containing BPA carry this identifying symbol).
What is the risk?
BPA is a molecule that mimics estrogen in the body. BPA leaches from containers into the contents and is consumed along with the contents. (Containers do not need to be heated for this to occur). BPA has been linked to cancer and reproductive problems. Animal studies have linked long-term exposure to infertility, early puberty and prostate and breast cancers.
Who is at risk?
Everyone is at risk – from infants and children, to teens and adults – both in the short-term and long-term. Each age group has its own risk factors.
What can we do?
Substitute all BPA products, or any that you suspect may contain BPA, with non-toxic alternatives such as products contained in glass, stainless steel, or cardboard containers. Limit the amount foods and drinks contained in metal containers and pop cans. Choose water, and freshly made fruit and vegetable juices instead of canned options. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Choose stainless steel or glass containers to carry any liquids, and check with your dentist about the composition of chemicals in fillings and dental accessories, such as “night guards”.